In this article, we list some of the best open source CRM software available for small and medium-sized businesses.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM software enables the companies to interact with their potential and existing customers, understand and manage their requirements. This improves the relationship of an organization with customers, and a happy customer brings profitability to the business.
So, no matter how big your team is (small business or a big firm), CRM software always comes in handy when you want to keep things organized in your business.
You may avoid CRM software for a couple of employees when you start a business. However, to streamline the process and make the work efficient and fast — you will eventually need CRM software.
But, what about the level of control (or security) in a CRM software? Do you want transparent CRM software which you can take control of?
Well, that is when an open-source CRM software comes into play. You can host it yourself, and you can customize it as per your requirements. You may also opt for the hosted version, where you don’t have to manage it yourself.
In this article, we talk about some of the best open-source CRM tools I have come across.
Best Free and Open Source CRM Software
Let me clarify something. CRM is intended for businesses and when there is software created for business organizations, the developers would also like to make money. This is why almost all the free and open-source software also have their paid ‘enterprise versions’ available.
While you can download the open-source version and host it on your Linux-based server, the ‘enterprise versions’ are hosted by the developers themselves so that you don’t have to manage it.
Some enterprise versions also provide premium features that are not available for the open-source versions. Ticket support is also a feature available only for enterprise versions. Hence, I have also tried to highlight their ‘premium features’ in the list.
Note: The list below is in no particular order of ranking.
- Sever-basis charge instead of per-user subscription for hosted service
- Affordable managed hosting plans
- Supports third party integration
- 7-days free trial
SuiteCRM was originally inspired (and forked) from SugarCRM’s open-source version. Well, that is no longer available. So, SuiteCRM is the open source alternative for organizations that utilized SugarCRM earlier.
In addition to all the essential features a CRM has to offer, SuiteCRM offers some great affordable managed hosting deals for organizations. With an impressive pricing plan (on server-basis with unlimited users), SuiteCRM takes aim at Salesforce — which is promising.
- Open-source edition available
- Enterprise edition pricing on a per-user basis
- Wide variety of third party integrations
- 15-days free trial
Odoo is yet another popular open-source CRM solution. However, in contrast to SuitCRM, you will observe the pricing plan per user. So, if you are just starting out with a lot of users – you might find it a bit pricey.
The third-party integrations can be done easily, and you can find the pricing for each app/integration when purchasing a subscription. You can either opt for the open source community edition or purchase the enterprise edition.
- Open source edition based on SugarCRM
- Separate pricing plans for Marketing, Sales, Help desk or all-in-one
- Regional pricing available for some countries like India
- Per-user pricing
Vtiger offers a cloud version and an open source version. Of course, if you opt for the open source version, you get to host it yourself and manage it all by yourself or hire a team.
After observing the pricing plan, the managed cloud version obviously looks promising. – with separate pricing plans for sales, marketing, and help desk. However, if you have the required technical expertise, the open-source version is good enough as well. Also, it was interesting to see a regional pricing plan for India because they have an office here.
- Offers a separate (but outdated) open source community edition
- Provides a 5-user trial plan for the latest version
ConcourseSuite is a simple CRM that offers open-source version as well. The community edition (or the open-source version) is outdated—which you can still utilize as a basic CRM.
In case you want the latest version (which is the enhanced version of the community edition), you will have to opt for a 5-user trial or purchase the enterprise/cloud version. I couldn’t find a clear pricing plan but its pricing page did mention $10,000 for unlimited users. So, you will probably find out about it after trying out the trial.
- The ability to switch to on-premise anytime.
- Actively maintained open source (self-hosted) package.
EspoCRM is new to the scene and it is an impressive CRM software. You can download it for free and host it yourself or opt for the cloud solution where they do it for you.
They offer detailed documentation—in case you want to try it yourself. Furthermore, if you want to go with the cloud solution—you can always switch to on-premise anytime you want. I guess that makes it a bit more appealing.
6. Axelor CRM
- A complete suite of ERP, CRM, and BPM.
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
Axelor is normally a complete suite of ERP, CRM, and BPM. Here, we talk about the CRM which is an incredible open source CRM available out there.
In addition to the web app, it also offers mobiles apps for Android and iOS. So, no matter you host it yourself or purchase a subscription for managed hosting – Axelor CRM is a great choice to keep up across multiple platforms.
7. Crust CRM (Corteza)
- A unified open source solution
- Recently launched with latest features on board
Crust CRM is one of the best enterprise-level Slack/Salesforce alternatives. Well, the primary aim of Crust CRM is to provide you with a unified platform.
Crust CRM offers a community edition “Corteza” which is open-source in nature with all the latest features that you get with Crust CRM. It has been recently launched – so you can expect it to be compatible with many services. You need to go through the technical documentation to set it up.
- The open-source package is no longer actively maintained – but available.
- On-premise and hosted options available
X2CRM is yet another convincing open source solution. The open source package includes all the modules (Sales, Marketing, and Support).
However, do note that the open source package isn’t actively maintained anymore – so if you want the latest and greatest features, you will have to purchase it. You can let them manage everything (hosted solution) or you get to manage everything and opt for their support and optimization services (on-premise).
- Integration support for WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla
- Completely open source with no separate enterprise edition
CiviCRM is an interesting open source CRM suggested by one of our readers. Unlike some others, it does not offer a separate enterprise edition with premium features.
No matter whether you host it yourself, or utilize one of the CiviCRM’s hosting providers, you will get the same features. To learn more about it, you can follow their official user guide.
- Available via Softaculous
- Sever-basis charge instead of per-user subscription for hosted service
- Affordable pricing
YetiForce takes its inspiration from Vtiger CRM and a couple more open source projects. It is completely free and available for download at Sourceforge.
You can also install it directly via Softaculous. If you are not going to host it yourself, you can opt for the affordable hosting plans which supports unlimited users.
11. Apache OFBiz
- Suite of business applications that includes CRM
- Powerful Java Web Framework
- Open-source and Developer-friendly
Apache OFBiz may not be the most popular CRM solution but it is a decent open-source suite of business applications. Unlike others, it does not offer any hosting options – you will have to take care of that (or hire someone to do it).
It also includes ERP with integrated E-commerce solution. If you are looking for a single solution for multiple abilities – this could be one of the best open source CRM software to consider.
12. Krayin CRM
- Completely free to use
- Built on Laravel
- Clean user interface
It offers a simple, easy-to-use, and modern user experience. Unlike some others, it is completely free without any optional premium options. You can still expect to find all the essential features that you’d need for an enterprise.
The official documentation available gives you the necessary information to get started.
If you prefer to host the CRM system on your server and manage it by yourself, it can be an interesting choice.
I had made the list of best open source CMS earlier. You may read that to get some ideas about which open source technology to use for creating your business website.
Coming back to CRM, if you would ever consider trying out an open source CRM, these are the best ones I would recommend. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let us know about it in the comments down below.